Today the shortest and most precocious member of the household woke me up full of ideas. Could we surprise daddy with early late father’s day? Could we get a cat and name him Sparky Fur? (Sparky is the first name and Fur the last name, in case you were curious.)
At first I was all like, no we can’t have early late Fathers Day! (We missed the actual father’s day because the father was traveling. And then the whole family was traveling. And then the mama had to wait for the custom-ordered mug from Walgreens.com to arrive.) But then I was like, hello of course we can have early late father’s day. Sure the gifts aren’t wrapped and the child is naked (ALWAYS) and the husband is in stinky running clothes. But let’s be wild and crazy and just do it!
So we did. And I realized I also forgot to write in the card I gave my husband. I told him to project whatever it is he wants to hear from me onto the card. I think it would say, “You are the greatest husband and father especially with keeping the house clean and I’m sorry I never do the dishes because I can’t stand your refusal to rinse the dishes before piling them in the sink!” Maybe that last bit was me projecting. It’s ok, I’ll own it.
Anyway, hope you all had a very special regular on-time (or maybe even early late) Father’s Day!
(P.S. We are not getting a cat. And no we cannot get rid of the dogs to get the cat named Sparky Fur! I’m now convinced the only person giving love to our old lazy beagles is yours truly.)
Rush home from pre-school, grab your mother and pull her into her bedroom. Dogs are allowed to stay. Dads are not!
Get on the bed and lay down on a pillow, telling your mother in a conspiring tone, “we need to lay here to talk about SURPRISING* DADDY!” Cross your adorable little feet. Watch your mom’s heart melt.
Ask your mom to purchase a “pinn-atta” and declare that you will fill it with “all the candy!” Decide that purchasing two pinn-attas might be a good idea. (More candy, which you will eat! Cackle with delight.)
Remind your mother approximately 1,546 times that you need to make a cake. Offer to help blow out candles. Decide that chocolate ice cream must be purchased.
In hushed tones, tell your mother to hide your rainbow drawings from preschool. They are a surprise for daddy’s birthday!
Repeat daily until your father’s birthday. (Currently twelve days away.)
*There is no surprise party, but don’t let this detail derail any and all plans for surprises. The more surprises the better! Same goes for pinn-attas. And candy. And cake. Speaking of cake, did you remind your mom to make a cake??!
Remember naked Moana from yesterday? I’d be failing you if I didn’t tell you the whole naked Moana story.But first, some background.
It turns out that every Friday is show-and-tell day in my 4-year-old’s preschool room. I didn’t know and I was intrigued. What exactly had my kid bringing to class show-and-tell these last few weeks?
A recent Friday I asked if she shared anything. “Yes, mommy of course! I brought a chip clip!”
“Yes, a chip-clip!”
(That’s right, my four-year-old brought to school a bag-clip thing you use to keep your bag of Lays closed.) I was a little worried.
“Oh wow a chip clip, huh? So what did your classmates say when you showed them the clip?”
“They said it was red!”
It was indeed.
This is where I should’ve known better and stayed out of my daughter’s affairs. Let the child bring whatever object she likes! Stop worrying about the potential frowns of her peers who perhaps don’t appreciate the fine spring mechanisms of the chip clip. My commitment to raising a resilient child rather than a child protected from every hurt was suddenly thrown out the window. Buh-bye!
After that Friday I started reminding her that Friday was show-and-tell day. Which brings us to naked Moana.
We were running late that particular Friday. I reminded my daughter it was show-and-tell day and I started suggesting toys within my sight: how about curious George? Or her toy camera?
She grabbed Moana. Moana was missing her skirt. Are you sure you want to bring Moana? Yes, she was sure.
(I don’t need to tell you that Moana’s skirt was nowhere in sight.)
I made a split-second decision–we would take (half-naked) Moana to school. I mean, all kids play with half-naked dolls, right?
When we arrived to preschool the other kids greeted my kid. . .by lifting their shirts and exclaiming LOOK AT MY SWIMSUIT! Friday also happened to be “water day” where they could wear a swimsuit and play in sprinklers and kiddie pools. My kid lifted her dress and showed her suit to her teacher, Miss M. Miss M. looked slightly horrified and said, they are always such exhibitionists on swim day!
Before I continue, let me tell you about Miss M. She is a grandmother of two. She loves to tell stories and teases the children about how all birthdays are going to be cancelled except hers, which is met with roars of laughter and NO MISS M!! At a recent school event with parents Miss M. read aloud a book about a bunny and when finished said in a conspiring tone to the parents, “I have another story about a bunny–how my father once held a party for his friends and had someone dress up as a bunny to convince the drunk guests they were REALLY losing it, but that is a story for another day!”
So when I casually mentioned to Miss M that speaking of exhibitionists, “Oh hey, Z. brought a half-naked Moana doll for show and tell, aren’t kids hilarious?” I was not expecting her to freak out.
But freak out she did.
To make matters worse, somewhere between home and school, Moana’s bikini top flittered away and Moana went from being half-naked Moana to becoming Full Monty Moana.
I’ve never seen Miss M look so appalled.
I was squirming now.
Oh, well all kids end up playing with these dolls naked, right? I bet the kids won’t even notice, I laughed nervously.
Miss M’s face: still horrified.
“Oh, well you just don’t know what they will grab to bring for show and tell do you! I didn’t even realize she grabbed the naked doll, silly me!” (YES I TOTALLY THREW MY KID UNDER THE BUS.)
I just kept talking and talking as one tends to do when situations are awkward. I finally realizedmaybe it hadn’t been entirely appropriateto bring this doll to show-and-tell. I asked Miss M if she wanted me to take it home with me– because really, I could, no problem!
No, no, it was fine, she assured me, still with her deer-in-headlights look.
This is the story of how I learned to BUTT-OUT OF SHOW-AND-TELL. Don’t ask, don’t tell.Sure, kiddo, bring more chip clips!
(And hey, do you have an extra one? Maybe I’ll use one to keep my mouth shut.)
After all this transpired I ran into another parent and mentioned the Moana incident. The parent laughed and said, yeah, one day their daughter brought azippered jacket to class show-and-tell. Huh.
Turns out that four-year-olds know exactly what they are doing thank-you-very-much. Chip clips welcome. Naked Moanas, not so much.
I made the mistake a few weeks ago of making bunny-shaped pancakes at Easter and now my four-year-old thinks I’m capable of great pancake feats. Hence her request today for a “horse-shaped” pancake. She even wanted it to have “nooves” (she was struggling to remember the word hooves.)
Well, my lil’ cowgirl running around naked in her red cowboy boots was too hard to say no to. I cautioned that the hooves might be a level of detail not capable with the pancake medium. She shrugged and was like, ok but please still make a horse pancake?
You all, this might be stating the obvious but it’s hard to make pancakes look like horses.
Me to kid: here is your horse pancake! Just know that it kind of sort of looks like a horsey.
Kid: I see it!
Me (not believing her): yeah!?Where do you think the tail is?
Listen you guys, she found the “tail”!
I have officially won motherhood today.
UPDATE: I forgot to add that after she ate her pancake she brought over a plastic toy horse and said, “Mommy, this is what a horse looks like!” Like I didn’t know. Like my pancake didn’t look like a horse or something.
As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo.Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.:Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me:DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me:Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
Four is nonsensical knock-knock jokes and pretending to read clocks.
Four is eating pb&j, cheese sticks and cereal–all before 9AM.
Four is finding loopholes in bedtime rules.
Four is big feelings, and even bigger hugs.
Four is winning at Memory and mastering big-kid puzzles.
Four is I got it!, I know!, I can do it!, and I love you you, mama.
Four is holding on tight to fleeting 6am snuggles.
Happy birthday today to my little girl (who does not seem so little anymore). I looked at what I wrote last year and I can’t believe how much my daughter has grown. I can only begin to imagine what she will be like when I write this next year. Oh, how the time flies.
And because I’m ridiculously sentimental, thinking a lot about the birth memories I shared in The Birth(day) lessons. That nesting-pregnant-woman seems like a child compared to what I have grown into during these last four years. It is truly a joy to watch how much we grow, too, hand-in-hand with our child.